Skull Session: Opposing Coaches Praise the Buckeyes, Ohio State's Chances of Winning Out, and Ohio Stadium Breaks WiFi Records

By Kevin Harrish on October 9, 2019 at 4:59 am
Larry Johnson is pointing in today's skull session.

Good morning, everyone. I hope you all learn something new today, just like Steele Chambers did on Monday.


Word of the Day: Idyllic.

 GRACIOUS IN DEFEAT. Six games into the season and pretty much every head coach that's had the displeasure of facing Ohio State this season agrees that this Buckeye team is one of, if not the single best team they've ever played.

From Kyle Rowland of the Toledo Blade:

“I hate to disrespect [previous Ohio State] teams, to be honest with you, but this is as good as any of them,” the Michigan State coach told reporters on a Sunday teleconference.


Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin, whose Owls lost to the Buckeyes 45-21, told Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel, “I thought Ohio State was as good looking as you can look.”

“We took one in the mouth for four quarters,” Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell said.

“They’re No. 1 on my ballot,” Nebraska coach Scott Frost said. “The season will play out, but where it sits right now, that’s as good a team as I’ve seen.”

Hey, remember when this team with a first-year head coach, a revamped defense and first-year starter at quarterback was supposed to look raw to start the season? I mean hey, what if this is raw?

 IT'S NOT OVER YET. Ohio State's blown apart every team on the docket so far and has looked like a damn wagon through the first six weeks of the season.

I – a shameless homer – fully expect that to continue, since the Bucks are going 15-0, but I'm still realistic enough to know I can't just expect smooth sailings all the way to the College Football Playoff.

We're only at midway point of the season and the toughest games are still on the horizon.

From Bill Connelly of ESPN:

Wisconsin and Penn State aren't giving Ohio State the Big Ten crown without a fight

The Buckeyes might have just walloped Michigan State, but Wisconsin and Penn State have been mostly dominant as well, sans one result each. Penn State flirted with losing to Pitt before prevailing by seven points, and Wisconsin let Northwestern muck up the game the way Northwestern loves to and needed a pair of defensive touchdowns to prevail by nine.

Their other eight results? An average win of 51-5. The Badgers are sixth in SP+, and the Nittany Lions are seventh. Both play at Ohio State in the regular season, and the Badgers are the favorites to win the Big Ten West, which would mean a potential rematch against OSU or a playoff qualifier of sorts against PSU.

• Week 9: Wisconsin at Ohio State -- 70% win probability for OSU
• Week 13: Penn State at Ohio State -- 71% win probability for OSU
• Hypothetical Big Ten title game: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State -- 65% win probability for OSU
• Hypothetical Big Ten title game: Wisconsin vs. Penn State -- 51% win probability for UW

Ohio State is a healthy favorite in both the regular-season games and the hypothetical Wisconsin rematch. The odds of winning all three, however? Just 32%.

The most hilarious part of this analysis is that Michigan isn't even mentioned – and it's a perfectly justifiable exclusion. I mean, you couldn't concoct or cherry pick a stat that would make the Wolverines a threat to any of those three teams right now.

 ALL OF THE WIFI. I'm the first to tip my cap when I find my cap needs tipping, and I'm going to have to in this instance.

You see, there wasn't even a small part of me that thought Ohio State's stadium-wide WiFi network would run anywhere close to smoothly. But I was wrong. Through six games, the network's not just holding up, it's breaking records.

From Paul Kapustka of the Mobile Sports Report:

In front of a packed house Saturday night at Ohio Stadium, the Ohio State University not only gained an important Big 10 conference victory, it also broke the all-time record for most Wi-Fi data used during a single-day event, with 25.6 terabytes used by fans on the new stadium Wi-Fi network.

The new Wi-Fi network, installed this past offseason by AmpThink using Wi-Fi gear from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, had already posted the highest Wi-Fi marks for a college football event, with 13.3 TB used at the home opener on Aug. 31 and another 12.7 TB used on Sept. 7. And on Sept. 21 in a blowout of Miami of Ohio, the Ohio Stadium network saw an even higher mark of 13.7 TB used, a mark previously unreported.

It turns out those were all warm-ups to the biggest Wi-Fi day so far, which came during a prime-time TV contest against Big 10 foe Michigan State. With 104,797 fans in attendance for homecoming, the approximately 2,000 Wi-Fi access points were humming from the time the gates opened. According to statistics provided to MSR by Ohio State, the network saw an astonishing 74,940 unique connections during the 34-10 Ohio State victory, many of those on a separate SSID for Verizon Wireless customers. According to Ohio State, the peak concurrent connectivity number of 45,200 users (also a record) was seen five minutes before kickoff.

If your snapchat story helped contribute to this historic number, I offer my sincerest congratulations.

Ohio State is responsible for four of the top eight events with the most WiFi data usage all-time, and the four other ones are Final Fours and Super Bowls. With games against Penn State and Wisconsin coming up, that number's going to grow.

 BOOMSHAKALAKA, HE'S ON FIRE. If you ask the team (or Fran McCaffery), there ain't much debate about who's the best three-point shooter on Ohio State's roster.

In a player poll conducted by Adam Jardy of The Columbus DispatchJustin Ahrens was voted as the team's resident sniper – quite resoundingly, too.

As a freshman, he occasionally struggled to get off the bench. But when Ahrens got into the game, particularly late in the season, he showed an ability to light things up at a high level.

At no point was that more pronounced than in a breakout performance against Iowa, when he connected on six three-pointers and finished with 29 points. His six makes tied him for the most in program history by a freshman, putting him even with D’Angelo Russell (three times) and classmate Duane Washington. His point total from the night was also tied for the sixth-most by an Ohio State freshman.

For the season, Ahrens shot 38.8 percent from deep but only attempted 49 threes. Of his 19 makes, 17 came in Big Ten play, where he shot a team-best 41.5 percent.


Here’s how the voting broke down:

Ahrens: 72.9 percent

Muhammad: 16.6 percent

Washington: 10.4 percent

I'll never forget the day I called the hell out of Justin Ahrens' NBA Jam-esque performance against Iowa (though to be fair, I still undershot his total by two points). As fun as that was, I'm gonna need to see him absolutely hoisting threes from the start of the season this year instead of late February.

 JOEY LANE > BEN SIMMONS. Speaking of three-point shooting, you wouldn't think an NBA guard hitting a single, mostly inconsequential three-pointer in a preseason game would be worthy of a standing ovation, but not when the shooter is Ben Simmons.

The crowd went nuts, and Joey Lane drew an immediate comparison.

I strongly disagree that it's equivalent – Joey hit multiple three-pointers in the Schott last year alone. Simmons has made just a single three since graduating high school.

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